Skip to content


Y.S. Nanji Reddy Vs. the State of A.P., Rep. by P.P. Through Station House Officer - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCriminal
CourtAndhra Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCrl. R.C. No. 637 of 1994
Judge
Reported in2000(2)ALD(Cri)546
ActsCode of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) - Sections 482
AppellantY.S. Nanji Reddy
RespondentThe State of A.P., Rep. by P.P. Through Station House Officer
Appellant AdvocateO. Manohar Reddy, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateAddl. Public Prosecutor
Excerpt:
.....report - section 482 of criminal procedure code - revision petition against order of conviction confirmed by additional sessions court - appellant assailed such order on various grounds one of which is inordinate delay in filing first information report (fir) in court - fir admittedly prepared and lodged before court with inordinate delay of 37 hours inspite of fact of court and police station being located in same premises - corroboration of evidence by prosecution witnesses itself is not sufficient to conclude commission of alleged offence by appellant unless such corroboration supported by other material evidence - case of prosecution looks very artificial and evidence of prosecution witness tainted - held, order of conviction against appellant set aside. - - therefore,..........and 5 are chance witnesses. their evidence looks very artificial.as to the injury on the person of accused alleged to have been caused by pw1at the time of occurrence, it is also doubtful to believe the version of pw1 because the prosecution did not take steps to examine the doctor who treated the accused for his injury and issued wound certificate nor produced the object, namely the firewood stick, with which pw1 alleged to have beaten the accused. these circumstances would go to show that the accused did not receive the injury as alleged by the prosecution.7. in my view, the case told by the prosecution looks very artificial and the evidence of the prosecution witnesses not only tainted with interestedness, but the time and the contents of fir and its reaching the court with an.....
Judgment:
ORDER

N.Y. Hanumanthappa, J.

1. Aggrieved by the order of the Addl. Sessions Judge, Hindupur, passed in Crl. A. No. 28/94 dated 2-10-1994 confirming the conviction and sentence passed in S.C.No.231/92 on the file of the Assistant Sessions Court, Penukonda, the accused preferred this revision. On 6-12-1996, this Court passed an order dismissing the Crl. Revision Petition. The said order reads as follows:

' Perused the record. The learned Sessions Judge has given cogent and convincing reasons in support of his findings and the sentence imposed is in proportion to the gravity of the offence committed by the accused. Therefore, I see no good grounds to interfere with the judgment under challenge. Accordingly, the revision is dismissed. '

2. Subsequently Sri Padmanabha Reddy, learned Sr. Counsel appearing for the revision petitioner made an oral request that the said order has to be recalled for the reason that the counsel for the petitioner was unable to attend the Court when the case was called on 6-12-1996 as neither the case was listed in the cause list nor a notice was given to the Advocate. The learned Counsel further submitted that the petitioner has got a good case on merit. If the order dated 6-12-1996 is not recalled which was passed without affording an opportunity of hearing great prejudice will be caused to the petitioner.

To know the truth or otherwise whether the case was listed in the cause list dated 6-12-1996, the case was called on 10-12-1997. with a direction to produce the cause list dated 6-12-1996 for verification. Accordingly the Cause list was verified and found that the Crl.R.C.No.637/94 was not listed on 6-12-1996. The learned Addl. Public Prosecutor appearing for the State also submitted that he has no objection to recall the order dated 6-12-1996 and hear the parties afresh on merit.

At this stage, Sri Padmanabha Reddy, learned Sr. Counsel contended that if the order is not recalled it results in abuse of the process of the Court. Further recalling the order dt: 6-12-1996 does not amount to review or alter the judgment. He further contended that when an order is passed without affording an opportunity of hearing to the petitioner's Advocate, due to the mistake in the cause list, the Court by exercising its inherent powers can recall its earlier order. In support of above contentions, he placed reliance on a catena of decisions some of them are (1) PUBLIC PROSECUTOR vs. DEVIREDDI (AIR 1962 A.P. 479 (FB) ) ; (2) MADHU LIMAYE vs . STATE OF MAHARASHTRA : 1978CriLJ165 ; (3) DEEPAK vs. STATE OF MAHARASTRA ( 1985 CRI.L.J. 23); (4) HABU vs . STATE ;(5)GIRIDHARILAL vs. PRATAPRAJMEHTA (1989 CRI.L.J.2382 (Karnataka)) and (6) KRISHNA PRASAD & OTHERS vs. SUSHILA DEVI & ANOTHER {1990(1) CRIMES 549 (PATNA) }.

After going though the above authorities I felt that the Court sitting on criminal side can exercise its power to recall its order in order to correct its erroneous act lest it may prejudice the party. I fully agreed with the argument of the learned Senior Counsel. To prevent abuse of process of the Court and to secure the ends of justice, this Court on 10-12-1997 passed the following order:

'Heard Mr. Padmanabha Reddy learned Sr. Counsel. Verified the Cause List of 6-12-1996 to know whether the case was listed for hearing but found that the same was not listed. But surprisingly the order dated 6-12-1996 indicates that the petition was disposed of which is a bona fide mistake either by the Court or by the office. Hence, the order dated 6-12-1996 is recalled.

Post the Crl. R. C. for hearing on 12-12-1997'

3. Subsequently, the case was adjourned for many a time on the request of both sides.That is how this case was listed for hearing finally before this Court on 14-07-2000. Heard both sides and perused the records. To dispose of this Revision Case it is necessary to narrate a few facts as disclosed by the prosecution witnesses which are as follows:

4. There is enmity between the families of the Y.S. Nanji Reddy (accused) and Smt. Y.V. Rajeswaramma (PW1). The husband of Smt. Rajeswaramma, namely Parandhama Reddy is the leader of one group and the brother of the accused is the leader of another group. One week prior to the incident, the accused entered into the house of Smt. Rajeswaramma in the absence of her husband and behaved with her indecently. At that time Smt. Rajeswaramma warned him not to come to their house once again which fact she informed to her husband. On 14.7.1992, her husband finished his lunch and left for Madakasira. At about 2.00 p.m. while Rajeswaramma was preparing coffee, the accused entered into their house and bolted the main door from inside. He told her that as her husband was not in the house, he can do anything against her and nobody would come to her rescue. Then Rajeswaramma told him that she is his sister by courtesy and it is not proper on his part to behave in such a manner. Then the accused caught hold of the end of her saree (Kongu) and pulled her. Thereupon Rajeswaramma took out a firewood stick and hit the accused on his face and came running towards main door crying for help. The accused came running behind her. At that time Sudhakara Reddy, brother of Rajeswaramma's husband (PW2), Chakali Rangajjappa, Chakali Rangaswamy (PW3), Harijana Kariyanna (PW4), Boya Laxmi Narasappa (PW5), Ramalaxmamma (PW6), Chakali Hanumantarayappa and Boya Sreeramappa came in front of the house of Rajeswaramma on hearing the cries and witnessed the accused running. When Sudhakara Reddy tried to catch hold of the accused, he bite on his right fore arm and ran away. Rajeswaramma informed the incident to her husband after he returned home from Madakasira on the same day evening. Then Smt. Rajeswaramma along with her husband went to Madakasira P.S. and lodged Ex.P.1 report.

5. The Trial Court framed a Charge u.s.354 of IPC against the accused for outraging the modesty of Smt. Rajeswaramma. The same was read over and explained to him in Telugu. The accused pleaded not guilty. Then evidence was lead in. On behalf of the prosecution 8 witnesses were examined as PWs1 to 8 and Exs. P1 to P3 were marked. PW.1 is the alleged victim Smt. Rajeswaramma. PW.2 is Y. Sudhara Reddy, the brother of the husband of Rajeswaramma. PW.3 is C. Ranga Swamy. PW4 is Harijana Kariyanna. PW5 is K. Lakshmi Narasappa. PW6 is Y.C. Ramalakshamma. PW7 is Dr. C. Lakshmi Kanthamma who examined PW2 and issued Ex.P.2 wound certificate. PW.8 is K. Krishna Murthy, who investigated the case and filed charge sheet. Ex.P1 is the complaint dated 14-7-92 given by PW.1 Ex.P2 is the wound certificate dated 14-7-92 issued in respect of PW2. Ex.P3 is the FIR in Cr.No.32/92 dated 14-7-92 of Madakasira P.S. On behalf of the accused Exs.D1 and D2 were marked. Ex.D1 is the relevant portion in 161(3) Cr.P.C. Statement of PW3. Ex.D2 is the FIR in Cr.No.34/92 of Madakasira P.S. dated 14-7-1992. No oral evidence was adduced on behalf of the accused.

After scrutinizing the evidence, both oral and documentary, the Trial Court came to the conclusion that the accused is guilty of the offence for which he was charged and accordingly convicted him to undergo RI for five years and also to pay a fine of Rs.500/- in default to undergo SI for a period of one month. Aggrieved by the said conviction and sentence, the accused preferred Crl. A. No.28/94 on the file of the Addl. Sessions Court, Hindupur, which was dismissed confirming the conviction and sentence ordered by the Trial Court. Aggrieved by this, the accused preferred this Revision.

The appellant-accused mainly attacked the impugned judgments on the grounds that (i) there was delay in Ex.P3 FIR reaching the Court; (ii) there were interpolations in Ex.P.3 FIR; (iii) PW 2 being the brother of PW1's husband and PW6 being the wife of the elder brother of PW1's husband who were said to have seen the second part of the incident viz., they have seen PW1 coming out of her house opening the door and the accused coming behind her running and running away on the alleged date of incident and PW2 trying to catch hold of the accused and accused causing injuries to PW2, were interested witnesses; (iv) PWs. 3, 4 and 5 who were also said to have seen the second part of the incident were the chance witnesses; (v) the case was foisted against him due to the political rivalry between his family and the family of PW1's husband and (viii) the injury on the face of the accused said to have been caused by PW1 at the time of the alleged incident was not properly explained by the prosecution.

6. Admittedly there is delay of 37 hours in this case in reaching the FIR to the Court of JFCM, Madakasira. It is well settled that the delay in sending the FIR to the Court concerned is fatal to the case of the prosecution. Corroboration in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses in criminal cases is important to base conviction. Equally important is the promptness in reaching the FIR to the Court having jurisdiction. In other words, the police shall send the FIR to the Court having jurisdiction immediately after registering the case without any amount of delay. It does not mean that there shall not be any delay always in reaching the FIR to the Court. Delay may some times happen in the circumstances of a particular case, but the same shall be explained by the prosecution reasonably and satisfactorily. Unsatisfactory explanation of delay in lodging the FIR before the Court is fatal to the case of the prosecution. In the case on hand, the offence alleged to have taken place at 2.00p.m. on 14-7-1992 and PW1 lodged Ex.P1 complaint before the Madakasira P.S. on the same day at 4-00 p.m. whereas the police sent the Ex.P3 FIR to the JFCM, Madakasira on 16-7-1992 at 11.00 a.m. The Court of JFCM, Madakasira and the Madakasira P.S. are located in the same premises and the distance between them is only 20 yards. In these circumstances the FIR was expected to reach the Court in an hour or couple of hours at the most. But there was nearly 37 hours delay in lodging the FIR. There was no satisfactory explanation from the prosecution side to ignore the delay. Courts below observed that the said delay is not fatal in view of the corroborative and cogent evidence given by the prosecution witnesses. Corroboration of evidence by the prosecution witnesses itself is not sufficient to come to a conclusion that the accused committed the offence alleged unless such corroboration is supported by the other material evidence including the FIR because corroboration is possible by tutoring the witnesses. The Appellate Court observed that merely there is delay in reaching the FIR to the Court the same shall not be viewed with suspicion and what all the Court has to do is that it has to scrutinize the evidence carefully and see whether there is any possibility of introducing concocted or coloured version or replacing another FIR in the place of earlier. I am not in agreement with the finding of the learned Appellate Judge and the learned Trial Judge for the reason that admittedly there is no mention of the names of PWs.P3 to 5 in Ex.P1 report who were said to have seen the second part of the incident, namely, PW1 coming out of her house and the accused coming running behind her and accused biting PW2 when PW2 tried to catch hold of the accused. Interpolation found in the FIR, the Courts below lightly brushed aside. Had these witnesses really witnessed the said incident, their names would have been found in Ex.P.1 report given by PW 1, the prosecutrix. Therefore an inference can be drawn that after due deliberations, the FIR was prepared and lodged before the Court with an inordinate delay of 37 hours, when the Court and the Police Station are located in the same premises. Therefore the delay occurred in this case is fatal and on this ground alone the whole case of prosecution falls on to the ground. The presence of PWs. 3 to 5 at the time of the alleged incident is also doubted in the circumstances. It has come in evidence that PW2 is the brother of PW1's husband and PW6 is not only related to the accused but also to the PW1 being the wife of Chandrasekhar Reddy who is the elder brother of PW'1 husband. Therefore the finding of the Courts below that PW6 being the relative of the accused she would not lie against her relative is incorrect. On the other hand there was political rivalry between the accused and the husband of PW1, as such possibility of foisting a false case should not have been ignored. In the circumstances of the case, we also doubt the presence of PWs.2 and 6 at the time of the alleged incident. Except the self-serving statement of PW1 as to the incident as narrated in her evidence, there is no other acceptable evidence. PWs. 2 and 6 cited by the prosecution are related to PW1. Naturally they were interested in helping PW1. Their evidence should have been weighed dispassionately. PWs. 3, 4 and 5 are chance witnesses. Their evidence looks very artificial.As to the injury on the person of accused alleged to have been caused by PW1at the time of occurrence, it is also doubtful to believe the version of PW1 because the prosecution did not take steps to examine the doctor who treated the accused for his injury and issued wound certificate nor produced the object, namely the firewood stick, with which PW1 alleged to have beaten the accused. These circumstances would go to show that the accused did not receive the injury as alleged by the prosecution.

7. In my view, the case told by the prosecution looks very artificial and the evidence of the prosecution witnesses not only tainted with interestedness, but the time and the contents of FIR and its reaching the Court with an inordinate delay gives room for doubt as to the accused committing the offence alleged. If peculiarity in the case was noticed properly and dispassionately by the Courts below the findings would have been that the accused entitled for acquittal by giving the benefit of doubt. The conviction and sentence ordered by the Courts below against the accused deserve to be set aside.

Accordingly this Revision Petition is allowed and the conviction and sentence ordered by the Courts below are set aside. The accused is set at liberty forthwith and the bail bond executed is cancelled. The fine, if any, paid by the accused is ordered to be refunded to the accused forthwith.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //